Sexual self-awareness (autoidentification) is what a person realizes himself, a man or a woman. Under normal sexual self-awareness, boys, born with male sexual characteristics, realize themselves as boys, girls – accordingly – girls.
The formation of sexual self-awareness (1-5 years) is largely determined by sexual differentiation of the brain in the period of intrauterine development.
For the full formation of the process of brain differentiation in men, it is necessary to have a certain concentration of androgen (male sex hormone) in the fetus during the intrauterine period and its long-term effect, as well as the absence of estrogen (the female sex hormone). If the androgen concentration is normal, and there are no estrogens, then the boy will be born with the correct autoidentification (sexual self-awareness). Violation of the ratio of these hormones can lead to a violation of sexual differentiation of the brain.
If there is a violation of sexual differentiation of the brain in the intrauterine period, depending on its severity, there may be various disorders.
With a serious degree of disruption of sexual differentiation of the brain, sexual self-awareness is distorted – boys born with male sexual characteristics, consider themselves girls, and girls with female sexual characteristics are boys. They develop a sexual perversion, which is called transsexualism, that is, a steady belief in belonging to the opposite sex, which does not lend itself to being reassured and corrected by educational measures. Transgender boys persistently do not want to wear clothes peculiar to their sex, but wear girls ‘clothes, require that everyone consider them girls and call girls’ names, and after becoming adults, they seek a change of male for female.
The severity of violations of sexual differentiation can be different. Therefore, the manifestations of transsexualism are manifold. There may be bright and even grotesque forms (sexopathologists call them “nuclear”), but they can be erased, less pronounced, manifested by minor episodes in childhood, when the boy declares that. That he is a girl, but under the influence of others he accepts the male sex in which he was born, and does not require his change. These are the so-called “marginal” variants.
It is assumed that the reason for the violation of the normal differentiation of brain structures can be the use of hormonal drugs during pregnancy.
In addition, the violation of brain differentiation can be caused by various harmful effects on the fetus in the prenatal period, including the use of certain medications. This leads to a distortion of sexual identity and a sense of belonging to the other sex.
The development of sexual self-awareness is influenced by the conditions of upbringing and the microsocial environment (that is, the immediate environment – parents, relatives, peers). In the process of its development the child learns to distinguish the sex of the surrounding people and begins to realize his belonging to a certain sex (male or female), he realizes the irreversibility of his sex – if the child has realized himself as a boy, then this belief remains with him for life. After this period, it is already difficult to change the child’s sexual self-awareness.
In the period of the formation of sexual self-awareness, the child’s psyche and speech develop, he learns to compare and contrast various objects and their images, distinguishes himself from the surrounding world (self-consciousness). Visual representations are very bright, because of this the child can hardly distinguish his fantasies from real phenomena. Emotional reactions predominate over the rational. This ensures the selectivity of the child’s attachments and communication.
In this period, children begin to play in the so-called sex-role games. Sexy games are games in which children choose for themselves a role corresponding to their semi- “family”, “husband and wife”, “bride and groom”. Children with correct sexual differentiation perform a clear role – either male or female.
Childish curiosity is aimed at finding out the causes of the birth of children, the study of their body and sex characteristics, the structure of their sexual organs and organs of the opposite sex. 70% of children look at their genitals and demonstrate them to each other. Reflection of their curiosity is sex play. Children play in the “doctor”, while they undress and examine each other’s bodies.
The child determines the sex of the surrounding people with the help of all the signs of sex – their appearance, clothing and accessories, body structure and genitals. If he did not have the opportunity to see the sex organs of the opposite sex, then the young children are guided by external signs. So one little boy did not know how to determine the gender of Adam and Eve and said that if they were dressed, then he would be able to tell which of them is a man and who is a woman.
At this age of the child, the environment of the child is limited – these are parents, relatives and a small circle of peers. The child has the strongest affection for the mother.
Psychiatrists believe that contact with the mother is extremely necessary for the child from 6-7 months to 3 years. It is she who spends most of the time with the child and serves as a source of stimulation for all of his senses – sight, hearing, touch and others, which contributes to the development of certain brain structures.
Attachment to the mother lays the foundation for future relationships with others. Deprivation of the mother in this period in the subsequent leads to various mental disorders – limiting the ability to normal relationships with others, responding to strangers with fear and aggression.
Subsequently, these children are less able to fantasize and express abstract ideas, the quality of thinking is violated, there may be such manifestations as cruelty, irritability, impulsive behavior, illegibility in the choice of friends and superficial relations with comrades.
But very much depends on heredity, and on how the child developed during the prenatal period and early childhood. With various adverse effects, the so-called organic brain damage develops. All together, it creates a certain basis for the child’s psyche, which psychiatrists call “soil.”
Children with a healthy “soil”, even if left without a mother and raised by foster parents, if they are surrounded by caress, care and attention of adults, can grow into harmonious individuals. And children with pathological “soil”, even with a living mother, may have various mental disorders, including sexual ones, especially if they are not properly educated.
Formation of the stereotype of sex-role behavior
The stereotype of sex-role behavior is behavior that corresponds (or does not correspond) to a person’s gender. Its formation occurs at the age of 7-13 years.
At the person there are certain structures of a brain (first of all, a hypothalamus), responsible for sexual behavior. If they develop normally during the intrauterine period, then the child’s behavior will be adequate (correct). That is, a boy born with male sexual characteristics will behave like a boy in later life.
In this period, there is a choice of a sexual role (male or female) that corresponds to the child’s mental and physical characteristics and the ideals of the notion of masculinity (masculinity – that is, behavioral traits inherent in the male sex) and femininity (ie, behavioral traits Female sex).
The violation (change) of sex-role behavior is called the transformation of sex-role behavior. With such a violation, the behavior of boys from an early age resembles the behavior of girls – they are too affectionate, effeminate, obedient, quiet, prefer to communicate with girls and play games typical for girls (dolls, classics and others). Some of them (but not all) love clothes with elements of girls’ clothes (shirts with laces, bows), they love to sew, embroider and cook, they willingly perform purely female domestic duties, they help their mothers at home, wash dishes, wash, iron .
If the transformation of sex-role behavior is combined with a violation of sexual identity, there is a sexual perversion – transsexualism (see the previous section). In this case, the child considers himself a representative of the opposite sex – the boy considers himself a girl, the girl – a boy. The child behaves according to his altered sexual identity – the boy not only considers himself a girl, but requires that both parents and all others also treat him like a girl, wear only the clothes of girls, behave like a girl, and later, becoming an adult, Requires that he be changed sex by surgical, hormonal and legal means.
If sexual self-awareness is not violated, the boy considers himself to be a boy, but loves to dress up in the clothes of girls, and he likes it when others take him for a girl, although he does not consider himself like that. Having grown up, such a man likes to change into women’s clothes or wears it constantly. This sexual perversion is called transvestism. In adolescence or older age, homosexual attraction can form, and such men become passive homosexuals.
In the period of the formation of sex-role behavior, from 7 to 13 years, the child’s socialization takes place – that is, awareness of oneself as a member of society and assimilation of moral and ethical norms of behavior accepted in society, the child develops a collective consciousness. The boy is trained to communicate with peers.
Developed and improved emotional reactions, the prevailing mood is formed, character is formed.
This age is characterized by insufficient will development, impulsive behavior (acts committed without preliminary thinking, impulsively), curiosity, trustfulness, the desire to imitate adults and peers.
The abstract logical thinking begins to develop, the child begins to formulate concepts.
Parents and their relationships become the object of close attention of the child and an example for imitation. Interpersonal relationships and individual traits of parents are perceived by the child as a model of masculinity and femininity, a pattern of the relationship between the sexes.
The normal family microclimate, emotional relations between parents and their correct behavior are of great importance for the child’s psychosexual development. It is not enough to talk and explain to the child how he should behave correctly. Parents raise a child more than words, but by their own example. If they tell him one thing and do the other themselves, then this distorts the psyche of the child.
From the correct sex role behavior of parents, the formation of a corresponding sexual role in a child largely depends. If the mother is feminine, soft, emotional, affectionate, and the father – strong, resolute, courageous – then the child has a correct idea of sexual role and behavior. But if the mother is domineering, despotic, demanding, buying up on emotions, and the father – soft, subordinate, affectionate – then the daughter can form masculine behavior – that is, the acquisition of some features inherent in the male sex, and the son – feminine – that is , Behavioral traits characteristic of the female sex.
In communicating with peers, the sex role chosen by the child is approved (approved in practice).
The sexual role of the child in games is most clearly revealed, and especially those that sex therapists call sex play, where children of a certain sex play an appropriate sexual role, for example, in the “family”, in the “bride and groom”. Girls with the right sexual role in games choose the role of “wife”, “bride”, “daughter”, “sister”, boys play “male”, the dominant role – “father”, “son”, “groom”, “brother.” In these games, the sexual role chosen by the child is fixed. In dances, a boy with the right sexual role plays the role of a partner and “leads” his partner.
In addition to sex games, sex role behavior of the child is reflected in other games. Boys prefer mobile, power, “boyish” games – “Cossack robbers”, “to the war”, “king of the mountain”, “to terrorists” and others, girls to “dolls”, “classics”, “skipping ropes”.
Parents should pay close attention to the child and advise him or her from a child psychiatrist if the child plays games that are not characteristic of his sex, for example, the boy prefers playing with girls in “girlish” games, likes sewing, embroidering or showing interest in cooking, and in sex-role Games, she accepts female roles, plays the role of “girl” or “mother”, “wife”, tries on her sister’s dress and her shoes, tries to make up lipstick with her mother’s lipstick, asks that she should not be sheared and wear long hair to her shoulders.
One should not treat this lightly, believing that these are all “costs” of childhood. This is clear evidence of a violation of the sexual role, and in the future, these children can form various sexual perversions – homosexuality, transsexualism, transvestism and others. Even in mild cases, the transformation of gender role behavior can be formed, and the boy will grow up with features of femininity (femininity). This will inevitably affect the sexual drive, and all his later life.
In “family” games, depending on the awareness of children, a wide range of sexual behavior among adults is reflected. In their games, children unconsciously copy the stereotype of the behavior of parents – the “husband” allegedly reads a newspaper or watches TV, “wife” – simulates the preparation of dinner, washing, cleaning – if this is how their parents behave at home.
It is also possible to imitate sexual intercourse, if children have seen it somewhere or heard about it from peers. In this case, boys with the correct sex role behavior play the role of “men”, and girls – “women”.
In a school where children are clearly divided by sex and opposed to each other, their correct sexual role and gender role behavior are fixed. Increasing demands for masculinity and femininity, which almost completely eliminates the trade-offs in choosing a sexual role.